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       The Works of the Devil destroyed


Extracts from a sermon on Genesis 3:15 by Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892).


Mr Spurgeon (1834-1892) was a Baptist minister in London who preached the Gospel to multitudes at a time when dreadful apostasy was entering Britain, when "the truth as it is in Jesus” was largely being despised. He was known as the Last of the Puritans, and his sermons are an excellent introduction to Puritan teaching.  



“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3:15)



This is the first gospel sermon that was ever delivered upon the surface of this earth. It was a memorable discourse indeed, with Jehovah Himself for the preacher, and the whole human race and the prince of darkness for the audience. It is worthy of our heartiest attention.


Is it not remarkable that this great gospel promise should have been delivered so soon after the transgression? As yet no sentence had been pronounced upon the offenders. Truly “mercy rejoiceth against judgment.” Let us rejoice, then, in the swift mercy of God, which in the early watches of the night of sin came with comfortable words unto us.


These words were not directly spoken to Adam and Eve, but they were directed distinctly to the serpent himself, by way of punishment to him for what he had done. It was a day of cruel triumph to him. But now God comes in, takes up the quarrel personally, and causes him to be disgraced on the very battle-field upon which he had gained a temporary success. He tells the dragon that He will undertake to deal with him; this quarrel shall not between the serpent and man, but between God and the serpent. Perhaps, however, by thus obliquely giving the promise, the Lord meant to say, “Not for your sakes do I this, O fallen man and woman; but for My own name and honour’s sake.” All this would be very humbling but yet consolatory to our parents if they thought of it, seeing that mercy given for God’s sake is always to our troubled apprehension more sure than any favour which could be promised to us for our own sake.


Now we must note concerning this first gospel sermon that on it the earliest believers stayed themselves. [It] lit up the world to all believers until the Lord was pleased to give more light, and to renew and enlarge the revelation of His covenant. The conflict and the conquest are both in the compass of these few fruitful words. They may not have been fully understood by those who first heard them, but to us they are now full of light. The text at first looks like a flint, hard and cold; but sparks fly from it plentifully, for hidden fires of infinite love and grace lie concealed within.


There was enmity between Christ and Satan, for He came to destroy the works of the devil and to deliver those who are under bondage to him. [In Gethsemane ] our Champion began the last fight of all and won it to the bruising of the serpent’s head. Nor did He end till He had spoiled principalities and powers and made a show of them openly. The conflict our glorious Lord continues in his seed. We preach Christ crucified, and every sermon shakes the gates of hell. We bring sinners to Jesus by the Spirit’s power, and every convert is a stone torn down from the wall of Satan’s mighty castle.


The serpent’s head is broken in us. The chosen seed consent with their heart to the law of God that it is good, and they sigh and cry that they may be helped to obey it, for they are no longer under the slavery of sin; the serpent’s reigning power and dominion is broken in them.


It is broken next in this way, that the guilt of sin is gone. The great power of the serpent lies in unpardoned sin. We are delivered from the curse and are now blessed, for it is written, “Blessed is the man whose transgression is forgiven, and whose sin is covered.”


Oftentimes the Lord also grants us to know what it is to overcome temptation, and so to break the head of the fiend. Job conquered when he cried, “Though He slay me yet will I trust in Him.” A feeble man had vanquished a devil who could raise the wind and blow down an house, and destroy the family who were feasting in it.


Moreover, dear brethren, we have this hope that the very being of sin in us will be destroyed. The day will come when we shall stand before the throne of God, having suffered no injury whatever from the fall and from all the machinations of Satan, for “they are without fault before the throne of God.”


Every time any one of us is made useful in saving souls we do as it were repeat the bruising of the serpent’s head. Whenever in any way you are blessed to the aiding of truth and righteousness in the world, you, too, who were once beneath his power, and even now have sometimes to suffer from his nibbling at your heel, you tread upon his head.


Exercise faith in the promise and be comforted. The text evidently encouraged Adam very much. Adam acted in faith upon what God said, for we read, “And Adam called his wife’s name Eve (or Life); because she was the mother of all living.” As the life was to come through her by virtue of the promised seed, Adam marks his full conviction of the truth of the promise though at the time the woman had borne no children. Exercise like faith, my brother, on the far wider revelation which God has given to you, and always extract the utmost comfort from it. Make a point, whenever you receive a promise from God, to get all you can out of it: if you carry out that rule, it is wonderful what comfort you will gain. God’s word is to be understood at the maximum, for He will do exceeding abundantly above what you ask or even think.


Let us resist the devil always with this belief, that he has received a broken head. Let us do this bravely, and tell him to his teeth that we are not afraid of him. Tell him to recollect his bruised head, which he tries to cover with a crown of pride. We know him, and see the deadly wound he bears. His power is gone; he is fighting a lost battle; he is contending against omnipotence. Therefore, brethren, be ye steadfast in resisting the evil one, being strong in faith, giving glory to God.